“God delights in those who keep their promises, and abhors those who don't.” Proverbs 12:22

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Our lives and businesses are built around things that are stable and dependable. We depend on the stable laws of physics - such as gravity and the timing of the solar system. These laws are fixed, and we can plan our lives around them. We also depend on man-made equipment and technology. Equipment and systems that are not dependable are replaced. This also applies to us as individuals: if we are not dependable or punctual we may be replaced by someone who is. Successful business people usually have a reputation of:

1. Being prompt and making good use of their time.

2. They keep their word, and expect others to do the same.

3. They are stable and predictable.

They call this being dependable.

For a business person, management of resources is considered a key to profitability. We know we need natural and financial resources, but it is also very important that we value people and their punctuality as a resource. In order to do this, we must first recognize time as a valuable resource. We should consider time as one of the most valuable commodities ever given to mankind. You cannot do anything without it. A minute wasted is a minute lost forever. When we are punctual, it shows we value our time as well as the time of others. This creates value in ourselves because others will consider us responsible, trustworthy, and dependable.

One of the most visible character flaws is the inability to be somewhere on time, or not show up at all. Tardiness, or not being punctual, is costly because it affects our reputation. We become known for arriving late and being undependable. Somehow we can always find an excuse, and may even lie to cover up, which adds to the flaw. Others blame it on their culture, but that doesn’t make it right. If we don’t take the responsibility for our personal promptness, others will treat us the same, and valuable time will be lost by sitting around waiting for each other. Tardiness is a habit - a bad one. We won’t overcome this bad habit until we see how it hurts us. Some will justify tardiness as a part of being busy, but if we are late on the job, late on delivery, and late for appointments, sooner or later we won’t have a job, a delivery, or an appointment. Don't make an appointment if you are not planning to be there on time.

If we overcome this flaw, we gain a valuable asset which makes people believe in us. They will say, "He is responsible and a man of his word. He is dependable and predictable. You can count on him."

Dependability is a powerful character trait that brings many other great attributes with it. God will delight in us if we keep our promises, and so will those around us. The next time you go to a meeting, see how you rate in punctuality on a scale of one to ten. It may be very enlightening to yourself, but it could be what others have noticed all along.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
He who is dependable is like the sun. It is there even when the storm is raging.